Installation of Bulletproof and Bullet-Resistant Glass

Vision Window with Aluminum Clamp-On FrameHave you ever been in a business or other setting and wondered if the glass in front of you is bulletproof? It’s probably not something most people think about if they’re not in the bulletproof glass business. But one thing is certain: You’ve probably encountered-bullet resistant glass more often than you realize—you just didn’t know it. That’s the beauty of a well-crafted transparent protective barrier like bulletproof glass—it protects against gun violence while still functioning like regular glass in terms of functional visibility.

Creative Industries: Improving Safety and Security with Bulletproof Glass

Creative Industries has been in the bullet-resistant glass and related products industry since the 1980s. And when the list of clients we’ve served includes names like Chevron, Disney, Wells Fargo, Coca Cola, ABC, Microsoft, and Walmart—well, you know you’re doing something right! If you need bullet-resistant transparent barriers at your business, give us a call at 800-776-2068 to discuss your needs and how we can help!

Protective Glass 101: Terminology and Manufacture

You might have noticed we’re using the terms bulletproof and bullet-resistant interchangeably. This is because “bulletproof” is how most people refer to what should technically be called “bullet-resistant” glass. Any piece of transparent protective barrier (which could also be acrylic instead of glass) is made to withstand a particular type of bullet for a specific minimum number of rounds. For example, a fairly common bulletproof glass is a type that can withstand being fired upon with a handgun and three rounds (and often more) of 9 mm bullets (Level 1 protection rating). If somebody fires a .50-caliber bullet from a rifle at a Level 1 bulletproof window, the results will be quite different.

Bullet-resistant glass is made by sandwiching a transparent layer of polycarbonate between two sheets of regular glass, as you add multiple layers with this sandwich technique it results in a higher rating of protection (there are 8 levels of bulletproof glass protection). This strengthening of glass is also called lamination, so you’ll also see bulletproof glass referred to as laminate or laminated glass. The layered sandwich is also heated to a high temperature to further strengthen the entire assembly. The trade-off, of course, is that more layers mean a much heavier final product, and sometimes building design has to be specially reinforced to handle higher levels of protective glass. But basically, there’s no such thing as completely bulletproof. However strong you make bullet-resistant glass, someone can always come along with a bigger bullet fired from a bigger gun. If you’re interested in learning more about how these products are made and how they work, check out our recent articles listed below:

When it comes to transparent protective barriers that look like and maintain the visibility of regular glass, thicker equals more protection. That thickness, however, does get in the way of vocal communication in customer-facing interactions, which is why Creative Industries offers a variety of talk-thrus that facilitates communication through the bulletproof glass.

How the Glass Resists Bullets

The outward-facing layer of bulletproof glass is just that, regular glass. When a bullet strikes that outer layer, the glass flexes, and cracks, but without shattering in a way that sends shards of glass flying everywhere that could otherwise be as lethal as the bullet itself. A good deal of the bullet’s forceful energy is dissipated as it spread out across the surface of the glass. Then the next layer of the super-tough but transparent polycarbonate material further reduces the velocity of the projectile and stops the bullet. The interior layer of regular glass should remain unbroken by the bullets that the ballistic level of protection is meant to protect against.

Because handguns are the most common form of gunfire businesses and other settings need to protect themselves against, most bullet-resistant glass is made to offer the following levels of ballistic protection:

  • Level 1: Protects against three rounds from a 9 mm gun
  • Level 2: Protects against three rounds from a .357 Magnum
  • Level 3: Protects against three rounds from a .44 Magnum

There are an additional 5 rating levels of protection (up through Level 8), but those are less commonly installed in most settings.

Where Bullet-Resistant Glass is Commonly Used

The most common places our bulletproof products are used are banks, 24-hour convenience stores, hotel lobbies, ticket windows at stadiums and arenas, government buildings, schools, professional offices, hospitals, and police stations. And while those are among the most common settings where bullet-resistant glass is installed, more and more businesses and professional offices are realizing the benefits when their workers feel safer. It boosts morale and productivity when workers see their employers are committed to their safety enough to invest in greater protective measures such as bullet-resistant glass barriers.

What Happened with the Windows at the Capitol Building?

For those who have seen videos of windows being broken at the Capitol building during the unfortunate events of January 6, 2020, you may be wondering why it seemed so easy to break those windows. First, there is no good source of information that describes exactly what kind of glass was present in those areas because making such details available to the public would pose a serious lapse in national security. Security glass experts have studied those videos, and their speculations on what clues were potentially seen are interesting to read. The glass was protective to some degree, but the windows seemed to become dislodged from their frames far too easily, though shattering in terms of glass shards did not happen, indicating some level of security retrofitting had probably taken place at some point. It’s safe to assume the type of glass in those windows is going to be thoroughly reexamined in the near future, but making changes to a historic building like the Capitol can also be difficult to implement as any such changes or upgrades for security also have to be approved by architects charged with preserving the historical features of such buildings as much as possible.

Creative Industries: Protective Bulletproof Glass Products

With more than three decades of experience making a wide range of bullet-resistant protective transparent barriers, Creative Industries continues offering its expertise for greater safety and security to businesses and organizations in any industry and any sector of the economy.

  • Bullet Resistant Windows: A variety of configurations are available for a range of applications, but especially for employees interacting with customers.
  • Deal Trays: When interactions with customers require passing small items back and forth, one of our many deal tray products offer greater security.
  • Drawers: Drawer products are what you see used at bank drive-ups. The worker inside extends and retracts the drawer to exchange items in a transaction.
  • Pass Thrus: These products serve the same function as drawers but are designed to handle packages of various sizes.
  • Talk Thrus: These are added to a bullet-resistant transparent barrier in order to facilitate vocal communication between employees customers.

 

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